TOR TIV Stool : Why Shitile Of Sankera Clan Deserves The Throne
Since the formal announcement of the demise of His Royal Highness
'Begh-U-Tiv' Orchivirigh Dr Alfred Akawe Torkula Tor Tiv the fourth by
the Tiv Traditional Council.The entire Tiv Nation was literally
thrown into mourning.
The 'Indyer',a traditional drum,was struck repeatedly to alert the
kingdom of the tragedy that has befallen not only the Tiv race but
also that of the entire nation.
As expected,the entire media space is abuzz with stories,news
reports,scoops and features,either real or imaginary all centered on
the battle of who will succeeds the late paramount ruler.
This development necessitated various intriguies among Shitile and
Kwande clans laying claim to succeeding the late Tor Tiv. The raging
controversy over the appropriate ruling house to produce the next Tor
It is a well acknowledged fact that the law for establishment of Benue
Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council has shown clearly that
Shitile of Sankera clan is to produce the next Tor Tiv. Under section
16(1) schedule 3 of the law. The Tor Tiv institution founded in
1946,traditionally rotates among the Tiv two sons of Ipusu and Ichongo
as the main ruling houses in Tiv kingdom.These two ruling houses are
found in Sankera,Kwande,Jechira,Jemgbah and MINDA an acronym for
Masev,Ihyarev and Nongov Development Association. Ichongo's
descendants are Masev,Ihyrav,Nongov,Ugondo,Turan, Shangev and Ikyurav.
While lpusu has Shitile and Kpar his two sons as descendants. Kpar
children are found in what is today known as Jechira,Jemgbah and
Kwande. Shitile are mainly in the Sankera intermediate with Ukum and
Tongov along Ichongo children such as Turan and Ikyurav.
When Makir Zakpe was appointed the first Tor Tiv by the colonial
administration headed by D.O captain Downes in 1946,his appointment
did not go down well with the Tiv tradition where the first child take
first in all sharing. However,the colonial administrator who held
supreme powers in this regard did what they wanted despite this murder
of tradition and culture. Although the Tiv people were happy for at
least getting their independence. Before then,the colonial
administration imposed a Hausa-Fulani man from Ilorin. Mallam Audu
Afoda was turbaned the Sarkin Makurdi,in an attempt to inaugurate
Emirate ruling dynasty for the Tiv. This portentous blossoming was
nailed when Mallam Audu died afterward. His son Baba Afoda's attempt
to succeed his late father was thwarted by the Tiv in armed struggle
that was instigated by the Tiv elites like Oradi Ugba and Iyorkyaa Ako
in partnership with second world war ex-Service men like Emberga
Samu,Igyuse Doki,Ula Lisa,Makondo Igbon,Gon Gire and others.
Makir Dzakpe,Kpar of Ipusu ruling house was a retired sgt. major in
the colonial army he hailed from Mbaduku,Vandeikyaa of Jechira
intermediate area. He ruled from 19th September 1946 and died 12th
october 1956 as Tor Tiv the first. He was succeeded in the same year
by Gondu Aluor,a local government administrative officer,he is of
Ichongo ruling house. He hailed from Logo of Ugondo intermediate area.
He ruled from 1956 and died 17 September 1978 as Tor Tiv the second.
When the turn of Ipusu came round again in 1978/79,the Shitile made a
case for the Tiv nation to consider the 'ya na wan igbian' sharing
principles in addition to their position as the eldest son of Ipusu.
Base on this facts late Ezekiel Akiiga was presented for the Tor Tiv
the third position along other Ipusu sons such as late Asema Yua from
Kwande. This time the colonial administration was nolonger in place
however late Joseph Saawuan Tarka held sway in Tiv land in all
matters. J.S Tarka drafted late James Akperan Orshi to join the Tor
Tiv race in order to pave way for his ambition to go to the National
Assembly. James Akperan Orshi was contesting the Jemgbah seat with
late Gbihi Vembe and Tarka. By compensating Akperan Orshi of Jemgbah
from Kpar family with Tor Tiv stool the eldest son Shitile was once
again short change and left in the cold. Kwande too was schemed out
by Tarka where he formulate the theory of 'Ihyev miom icha ihyar ga'.
Late Gondo Aluor was eventually succeeded by an
educationists,lawyer,retired secretary of the state government and
Head of Service Dr James Akperan Orshi Kpar descendants of Ipusu
ruling house. He hailed from Buruku of Jemgbah intermediate area. He
ruled from 1979 and joined his ancestors 14th May 1990 as Tor Tiv the
third. It was again the turn of Ichongo ruling house who produce Dr
Alfred Akawe Torkula,a retired permanent Secretary and French language
graduate. He hailed from Guma of Masev intermediate area. Dr Torkula
accended the Tor Tiv throne on 21st April 1991and died 22nd November
2015 as Tor Tiv the fourth. When he was selected in 1991 to lead his
people,the one dimensional formula of 'ya na wan igbian' the Tiv adopt
in sharing whatever they have among themselves was applied to crown
the late ‘Begh-U-Tiv'. Now that the Tiv Traditional Council have
pronounced the passage of Dr Akawe Torkula. His replacement will
definitely come from the Ipusu ruling house. And this time around from
the eldest son of Ipusu (Shitile ) who appeared suppressed by his
younger brother (Kpar ) who occupied the stool twice in 1946 by Makir
Dzakpe from Jechira and Akperan Orshi from Jemgbah 1979. All of Kpar
descendants from Ipusu ruling family.it is worthy of note that,this
wrong and injustice against Shitile who is the eldest son from Ipusu
lineage should not be allowed to continue.
I REST MY PEN FOR NOW!
John Akevi a public affair analyst writes from Bauchi.